Motorail at St Helena in 1990. Supplied by Beth Shelley.
Motorail at St Helena in 1990. Supplied by Beth Shelley. Supplied by Beth Shelley

Letters to the editor

Plastic bags

HAVE we gone mad?

Why cant we get this bag issue right?

Surely we could manufacture a bag out of something completely biodegradable.

Something that disappears in water after time immersed, something that could actually benefit what ever ate it, something containing minerals or a basic food?

Or a bag deposit system, something very reusable for a time, the exact size of the current bags so we can still use for garbage or dog poo, something that will hold plastic bottles or milk.

These should be issued by the retailers, at their cost, so they could be, in part responsible for this growing problem.

The bags could be returnable, and re-used time and time again.

These bags could be packed better at check out so less bags are used.

It seems like a big problem that could be easily fixed.

-Robert Fleming, Coraki

Question Time

PARLIAMENT is where the animals take over the farm, as Orwell described it: "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which." As a 'creature outside' I can't tell which party is which.

The mêlée of screeching, braying and roaring is utterly confusing except in the way it communicates hatred.

From the public gallery I witness capitalism fighting for its survival with democracy its enemy while conversely democracy fights for its survival with capitalism its enemy.

I wonder if, sooner or later, they will kill for the sake of their opinions, as, historically, they have.

In this place I am a Pangloss who believes, with the same complacent indifference of the populous, that hatred, injustice and incompetence are the natural way of life.

I step outside to the surprise of a beautifully sunny day.

To sit, in peace and harmony with nature, beside a quiet river which slides by day and night intent only upon the sea.

-Michael Brooke, Kyogle

Third most visited area in Australia

IF THE Casino to Murwillumbah railway line is ripped up to make way for a bike path this means this unique and wonderful corridor of land would be taken away from the majority of the public and given to a small number of cyclists who have the money, inclination and fitness.

In the Parliamentary Inquiry, Mr Maloney, the former coordinator of Tweed Byron Ballina Community Transport submitted that the rail line between Lismore and Murwillumbah is the 'Jewel in the Crown' of the north coast:

"This rail journey travelled during the day meanders through some of the most scenic countryside in Australia.

The train travels through quaint villages like Eltham, past dairy farms, cane fields and remnants of the unique Big Scrub Rainforest.

On leaving Bangalow the train travels along the St Helena escarpment with magnificent views of Julian Rocks and the Pacific Ocean and then past more rainforests at Hayter Hill and the paperbark swamp vegetation around Byron Bay.

Out of Byron Bay and toward Mullumbimby there are views of Mt Chincogan.

After leaving Mullumbimby the train travels through the small villages of Billinudgel, Mooball, Burringbar and Stokers Siding to imposing views of the 20 million year old Mt Warning shield volcano - a landform of both scenic and natural international significance.”

If rail services were returned we could have one of the best tourist trains in the world.

Our current politicians seem unable to understand this simple truth so at the next election we need to vote for a representative who recognises the incredible beauty of the Northern Rivers.

-Beth Shelley, Booerie Creek

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